The Explorer (except Base/XLT)’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Atlas doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
On a hot day the Explorer’s driver can lower the front windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Atlas can’t use the remote to operate the windows.
In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport/Platinum’s exterior keypad. The Atlas doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its Car-Net can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.
The Explorer’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Atlas’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Explorer has a standard rear variable intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Atlas only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
The Explorer has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Atlas has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/SEL/SEL Premium.
The Explorer’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Volkswagen only offers heated mirrors on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium.
The Explorer offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Atlas offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.